Suba could make a return to GPD - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Suba could make a return to GPD

by Nick Delgado

Guam - The recently-retired top brass of the Guam Police Department may be coming back to work to the same force from which Lieutenant Governor Mike Cruz forced him to step down. Governor Felix Camacho today confirmed that retired Police Chief Paul Suba might be coming back to work for the Government of Guam before his retirement is official. 

It was less than one month ago that Cruz, then the island's acting governor, announced that Police Chief Paul Suba was forced to retire from the public sector. Cruz told island media that if he didn't retire, he would have fired him.

The announcement came in the wake of a warrant executed at the KUAM Studios in Harmon. Agents from GPD's Criminal Investigation Division were looking for a piece of paper related to a police trainee that was hired despite failing to pass a required polygraph examination.

Now that Governor Felix Camacho is back on island, Suba could be making a comeback.  "I'm looking at the fact that he is still of great service to the territory," said Camacho, "and Paul is person I believe in, no matter what the media says." 

Suba has been serving his 20 days of administrative leave since being forced to step down.  Acting Governor Cruz said it would be in the best interest of the public as a whole that Suba retire - the governor feels otherwise.  "I could have him serve in the Administration in another capacity, but I know his desire would be to go back and serve full time in the classified ranks of GPD."

KUAM News spoke to Suba over the phone today. He said he appreciates the governor's comments, adding he had spoken to the government prior to his retirement and the possibility of placed in other areas of GovGuam, such as the Department of Agriculture's Aquatics and Wildlife Division. But the former chief says he loves police work and it's something he took more serious than a career, but rather as a calling.

Meanwhile, Camacho says he hasn't made a final decision as to whether Suba will return to GPD or whether he will tap someone else.  "Certainly in discussion with the lieutenant governor, I'm looking to tap Frank Ishizaki to go back," Camacho confirmed.  "The challenge though for any individual is that the chief of police and the nominee for that position has to go through legislative confirmation and the requirements that they have to endure are quite extensive, the polygraph test and the like, background investigation and on and on and for a six-month period would make it quite difficult.

"The other approach would keep an individual in for three months at a time as the law requires that they only serve in an acting capacity for 90 days."

In the meantime, Suba says his official retirement takes effect by the end of next week. Suba tells KUAM News that he will meet the governor before then to discuss his plan to maintain employment with GovGuam.

While the governor decides who to appoint as the top brass, officials at the guam Police Department will also have to look for a new legal counsel.  Effective at 5pm today, GPD attorney Jim Mitchell is now officially retired from government service. Mitchell says he's now going on a long vacation.

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